Early years as tlatoani
Claiming descent from the legendary Chichimec chieftains King Xolotl and Nopaltzin, Ixtlixochitl became tlatoani of Texcoco in 1409 after the death of his father, Techotlala. For several years thereafter, Ixtlilxochitl continued to pay tribute to the powerful Tepanec city of Azcapotzalco and its tlatoani Tezozomoc. However, Ixtlilxochitl grew restive in this role and, in preference to Tezozomoc's daughter, married the Mexica princess Matlalcihuatzin, a daughter of Huitzilihuitl, tlatoani of Tenochtitlan.
In 1414, Ixtlilxochitl took the title Chichimeca Tecuhtli ("Lord of the Chichimecs") and urged the Mexica to ally with him against Azcapotzalco. However, Huitzilihuitl, perhaps in deference to his wife, Tezozomoc's daughter, maintained his support of Tezozomoc and Azcapotzalco.
In response to Ixtlilxochitl's defiance, Tezozomoc led a large army, including Mexica forces, against Texcoco. Despite some initial successes, Tezozomoc was repulsed. Ixtlilxochitl reacted to this victory by taking the battle to Azcapotzalco, and besieged it for several months. Unable to take the city, however, Ixtlilxochitl lifted the siege, and returned to Texcoco.
The following year, the Tepanec forces, including Mexica contingents, again laid siege to Texcoco this time driving out Ixtlilxochitl, who was finally cornered in the foothills of Mount Tlaloc. His young son Nezahualcoyotl witnessed his death from the branches of a nearby tree.
Texcoco was awarded to Tenochtitlan as a tributary, and Nezahualcoyotl fled into exile in Huexotzingo. Ten years later Nezahualcoyotl would avenge his father's death and retake Texcoco with the help of Itzcoatl, the future tlatoani of Tenochtitlan.
- Radin, Paul; "The sources and authenticity of the history of the ancient Mexicans" in University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology, June 1920, Vol. 17 No. 1,
- Davies, Nigel (1973). The Aztecs: A History. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-12404-9.
- Townsend, Richard F. (2000). The Aztecs (revised ed.). London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-28132-7.
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